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New Orleans Pelicans, ESPN and Twitter reap rewards of ‘Zion sweepstakes’

The New Orleans Pelicans have sold approximately 3,000 season tickets since Tuesday evening after the team secured the right to sign Duke phenomenon Zion Williamson by landing the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

A video of the Pelicans season-ticket office sales team going wild the moment the Pelicans landed the No. 1 pick indicates the effect that Williamson is likely to have on the franchise, if selected. The NBA Draft will be held on June 20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Up until 1am on Wednesday, the Pelicans took orders for 2,000 season tickets, which was twice as many as they did after earning the No. 1 pick in 2012, which resulted in the team drafting Anthony Davis. Drafting Williamson may now mean that the disgruntled Davis will decide to stay at the Pelicans after he handed in a trade request last season.

Interest in the ‘Zion sweepstakes’ also resulted in ESPN generating its highest-ever rated NBA Draft Lottery telecast. The network’s Lottery coverage drew a 3.9 metered market rating, a rise of 77 percent from 2018, peaking with a 4.3 rating from 8.45-9pm.

Social-media platform Twitter recorded four times as many Lottery-related tweets compared to 2018, with over one million total tweets. The most-mentioned teams were the New York Knicks, one of three teams entering with the Lottery with the best odds to land the top pick, the Pelicans, and the LA Lakers. Williamson, not surprisingly, was the most mentioned player.